Troops oust Boko Haram from town
Nigerian troops have ousted Boko Haram from a north-eastern town while Cameroon soldiers killed several of the extremists in an attack on a Nigerian village.
Military officials reported yesterday on the latest successes in a multinational bid to curb the Islamic uprising in north-east Nigeria.
"FLASH: Nigerian troops have this afternoon routed terrorists from Bama ... Mopping up operation is ongoing," the Nigerian defence headquarters announced on Twitter referring to a town held by the insurgents for more than six months.
An earlier tweet yesterday said they had "completed clearing terrorists out of Goniri" in neighbouring Yobe state.
By last week, the regional offensive that began at the end of January had liberated 36 towns, Mike Omeri, the Nigerian government spokesman on the insurgency, said.
Cameroon Colonel Jacob Kodji said forces from his country attacked Boko Haram militants from Borno state's Ndaba village on Thursday and Friday, killing several of the extremists and destroying some of their vehicles and ammunition.
The Cameroonians acted after Ndaba residents reported that Boko Haram militants were massing in the hills around the village, 12 miles from the border with Cameroon, he said.
The militants were believed to have been fleeing from Nigerian air raids on Bama, he said.
Boko Haram seized Bama in September and in December published a video showing gunmen mowing down civilians lying face down in what looks like a school dormitory there. A leader said they were being killed because they were "infidels" or non-believers.
Boko Haram this month joined the Islamic State group in the Middle East, which last week urged fighters to go to its "West Africa Province".
This has increased fears about the internationalisation of a conflict that for nearly six years has been largely limited to north-east Nigeria.
Some 10,000 people were killed in Nigeria' Islamic uprising last year, according to the US-based Council on Foreign Relations.
Boko Haram was little known outside the region until its abduction last April of more than 200 schoolgirls who remain missing.